As you know, we are movie fans. So we have Christmas movies we absolutely cannot miss, or it just doesn’t feel like Christmas.
Our season starts with watching the original, non-colorized, “Miracle on 34th Street”, which was made in 1947 and stars a very young Natalie Wood as the skeptical Susan Walker. It is sweet, understated and reminds us to not get too grown-up.
Our next film this year was “Shop Around the Corner”, another quiet little movie. It came out in 1940 and stars Frank Morgan, Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. It is an early rom-com and more interesting than most.
Last night we enjoyed a newer movie, 2017’s “The Man who Invented Christmas”. This is a fantasy re-telling of what might have been going on in Charles Dickens’ imagination when he was writing his story of Christmas Redemption, “The Christmas Carol”. It stars the wonderfully crotchety Christopher Plummer as Scrooge and Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens.
And this, of course, leads into the best Christmas movie ever, “The Muppets Christmas Carol”. If you haven’t seen this, DO. It is funny, with Gonzo, with Charles Dickens, telling the story with the help of Rizzo the Rat (“I am here for the food.”) Kermit the Frog plays Bob Cratchit with Miss Piggy as his devoted wife.
But it is not just for kids (though my third graders always enjoyed it). Michael Caine, as Scrooge, finds nuances of sadness and regret that more celebrated actors missed. It is also a musical, and if you can get through Tiny Tim singing “Bless Us All” without tears, check your pulse.
We do love the more conventional ”Christmas Carols”, too. Patrick Stewart flexes all his acting muscles and lets us see the range of humanity caught in this one damaged, redeemable man.
I hope I have put you on to some movies that will become your favorites, as well.